Don't count out your pets for having Christmas Spirit and spreading Christmas Cheer!!
'Tis the season to be jolly with my friend's niece Molly. I bought her a dolly, and she named her Holly!! Okay, I'll stop. I always look forward to Christmas. Although I hear many a heavy sigh, followed by "not again," it's never too much for me. I love it all; the decorations, baking, the sweets that none of us should eat, the shopping, the presents and the wrapping, the music, the Christmas cards, friends coming over for tea, the hugging and the all encompassing reason for the season. I embrace every minute detail! My cats, Kitty, Pearl, Cybill and Seven, can't possibly comprehend any of that, but they seem to love the holiday season even more than I do. Normally, we're a fairly laid back household. I can't get the furry ones to do much more than sleep, eat and make deposits in the litter box during the rest of the year. And I'm usually the only one who moves toward the door when the bell rings and when people enter, one might hear the lack of traction on the kitchen flooring because the furry foursome can't become invisible fast enough. Some people don't believe I have cats, they never see them (even the pet sitter) until Christmas time. I was even accused of renting them just for the holidays. But when the season begins, my "hideouts" are definitely under feet. They want to see everything and everybody. The postman is exceptionally exciting because he usually has a box to open, which means they get to watch me remove presents, which they sniff audibly and when the box is empty, they jump in. There's some pure joy current in the air that truly has an affect on them. It begins when the tree and boxes of decorations come down from the attic, watch out, they can hardly contain themselves. Fortunately they are not destructive, they just want to see and be a part of everything. They paw the ornaments before I get them to the tree and visit each light on the strand as it lays across the carpeting during testing. After the tree is up and decorating completed, my furry children want to be near it, either on the arm of the sofa, sitting in front of it gazing at the twinklings or under it, but never in it.
Christmas Carols will bring them close to the stereo or radio. Kitty and Pearl don't seem to mind how loud I play them. Presents are something to rub against or lean their heads on when they snooze. You won't find our cats approaching anyone throughout the year, but during the holidays, they want a pet from everyone, they even become so bold as to jump in a strange lap or two. They get ecstatic when we open gifts on Christmas morning. They are simply so thrilled to roll around in the wrapping paper that it appears they have been waiting for this special treat all year (and there is no presence of catnip). Their unusual behavior at Christmas always astounds but warms me. May you, also, enjoy some of this strange behavior as our paws pause for Christmas. Savor the holiday moments, connect with those you love (or merely tolerate), sniff all the Christmas goodies, feel the vibrations of some great carols and jump on a lap or two. I remember reading a verse that goes something like: "When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift . . . thrown away. Life is not a race. Take it slower and hear the music, before the song is over." Those wise words are a regift from me to you. Please carry them with you to 2008.
Merry Christmas To All and To All A Good Night!!!!
Author & Wildlife Rehabilitator
(Let's hope there are lots of "Save Them All" under Christmas Trees this year!)